Connected Doorbell Company Ring Buzzes In $61.2M


This post is by Cat Zakrzewski from Venture Capital Dispatch


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Ring announced the release of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro on Wednesday. The new product came as the company announced funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Bot Home Automation Inc

Bot Home Automation Inc., which does business as Ring, raised $61.2 million in Series C funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The Santa Monica, Calif., company produces Wi-Fi-connected video doorbells, which allow users to remotely see who is standing at their door from their phones. The product gives users a notification when someone rings the bell or if its motion sensors detect someone in front of the house.

The company declined to disclose its valuation. PitchBook Data Inc. reported the company’s valuation jumped from $63.6 million to $202 million.

Chief Executive Jamie Siminoff said his goal is to use technology to make neighborhoods safer.

Mr. Siminoff said the inspiration for Ring, like many backed by Silicon Valley investors, came out of his garage. After selling his previous company Unsubscribe Inc., Mr. Siminoff was working on different designs with a team of other engineers in his garage. Because he couldn’t hear the doorbell from the work area, he rigged it so it was connected to Wi-Fi. When visitors came by, they were more impressed by the doorbell than the other designs he was developing.

“The thing I didn’t want to sell ended up being the product people wanted to buy,” Mr. Siminoff said.

The company offers a line of products focused on securing the area in front of the home and the home’s perimeter, including doorbells and a camera that sticks on the house. The company on Wednesday launched Ring Doorbell Pro, which has enhanced Wi-Fi connection, high-definition video and advanced motion detection.

Mr. Siminoff said he thinks his product compliments other connected home devices, such as those from Nest or Honeywell . He said his product line is all about securing the front and outside of the home, while those products primarily focus on the inside. The DoorBird, from Skybell Technologies, and the coming Wi-Fi Smart Video Doorbell, from August Home, offer similar features.

But like other connected home products, Ring has been plagued by security concerns. Pen Test Partners LLP found a serious flaw hackers could exploit in the system. The company addressed the issue through a firmware update earlier this year.

Mr. Siminoff said he has hired many security professionals who are constantly attacking the devices to find vulnerabilities and fix them.

“We’re very focused on security,” Mr. Siminoff said. “We’re constantly updating and patching software.”

The latest financing brings the company’s fundraising total to $93.7 million.

Read more about Ring’s funding and plans to go public at Dow Jones VentureWire

Write to Cat Zakrzewski at cat.zakrzewski@wsj.com. Follow her on Twitter @Cat_Zakrzewski.